Hoop Star Discusses His Commitment

Cordele, Ga. combo G <b>Lewis Clinch</b> may have made the highest rise amongst the class of 2005 this summer. Now ranked 27th overall in his class, (#5 at SG), Clinch has finally made a decision between Georgia, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, and newcomer Duke. As is known by now, Clinch will "most definitely" be a Yellow Jacket. Clinch discusses his decision…

"The players off the court," Lewis Clinch said about the family atmosphere being a big factor in making his decision after visiting to the Georgia Tech campus this weekend (current Georgia Tech commitment and 6'9 PF Alade Aminu joined him). "They made me feel like I was already a Yellow Jacket. They're just good, cool guys, on and off the court."

He's "not real clear" on whether or not he'll still visit Georgia (set for Sep. 17) or Wake Forest (set for Sep. 10), but said he has informed both schools of his commitment to the Yellow Jackets, and does not plan on taking either official visit "as of right now."

Another factor that helped Clinch make the quick decision was the coaching staff.

"With (Georgia Tech) Coach (Paul) Hewitt, he's big on individual development," the 6'3, 185 pound G from Crisp County said. "He's about trying to make individuals better, but also about making a good team on the court."

Clinch is expected to step in and fight for the role current senior BJ Elder now plays, and said that is who Hewitt compares him to.

Clinch, while a prolific scorer also has the ability to slide over and help at PG if necessary.

"I score well, but it's an adjustment (moving to the point)," said Clinch.

He said his scoring and offensive ability are definite strengths, but his defense has also improved greatly over the summer.

"That's the part of my game that sort of blossomed," Clinch said about the reasons his name rose up the charts as quickly as it did.

"It's something I'd been waiting on," Clinch added about his recent high praise. "I felt like I held my own (against the best around). I put so much work in getting ready to compete with the best of the best this summer. I've been waiting on this."

Crisp County head coach Fred Richard said Lewis has always been a top 50 caliber player in his eyes, "I was trying to get his name out there," adding how Clinch had thoroughly dominated local competition, calling him the best out of Cordele since probably Tree Rollins. At only 16, Richard described Clinch as a "natural leader."

He has his test scores, and said the academics of Georgia Tech were one of the other things that caught his eye.

"You can get a job anywhere with a degree from Georgia Tech," Clinch continued. "The NBA isn't for everybody, (citing the low percentage of those that actually do end up making it to the ‘league')."

He feels he needs to work on "mainly strength and learning," upon arriving at the next level.

"I'm not crazy, I know I'm not going to be dropping 25 a night (once he gets to the college level)," Clinch said noting the improvement in competition, and step up in overall speed of the game. "The accolades are nice, but I'm never satisfied with my game. I have to try and get better."

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski had called and scheduled an in home visit for Sep.15, but that is now in question.

"He's called, and left a message," Clinch said, adding he plans to call Krzyzewski back when possible. "He still could come by, but I'm pretty solid (with his commitment to Georgia Tech.)."

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